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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

.    TRAGIC    ELEMENT    IN    MOBERN    CONFLICT

produce another "predicament" worse than the one
you started with.

m

The great diplomatic issue that emerged—or rather
re-emerged—in Europe in the early years of this present
cerftury concerned the question whether Russia on the
one hand or Germany on the other hand should
dominate those countries of Central and Eastern Europe
which run from Poland, through Czechoslovakia and
Hungary to what we now call Yugoslavia and the
Balkans. This is how it came about that the occasion
for the war of 1914 was an episode involving Bosnia and
Serbia, while die occasion for the war of 1939 occurred
in regions concerning which Lloyd George had long
before expressed his apprehensions—namely in Czecho-
slovakia and in Poland, Those two wars were embar-
rassing in certain respects for Great Britain, for though
we claimed that we were fighting for democracy we
were allied in the former case with Tsarist Russia, where
the Jews had been oppressed, and the Poles were held
in subjection, and the Baltic nations were prevented
from achieving statehood; while in the case of the
Second World War we were the allies of the Soviet
system. So far as I can interpret European history in
general, the line of central European States which were
in question—Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, etc.—
can flourish beautifully when both Germany and Russia
are reduced to impotence, as they were in the fifteenth

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